Lemon Velvet Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting


There’s just something about the bright, sunny flavor of lemon that instantly lifts my spirits and transports me to warm, carefree days. It reminds me of backyard picnics, long sunny afternoons, and the simple joys of springtime as a kid.

That’s why whenever I’m craving a little taste of sunshine, I turn to my great-grandmother’s treasured recipe for Lemon Velvet Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. This has been a beloved family favorite for generations, gracing our tables for Easter, Mother’s Day, showers, and any occasion worth celebrating.

I can vividly remember watching my nana make this cake when I was little, mesmerized by how she’d zest those fresh lemons until the whole kitchen smelled vibrant and alive. She’d let me crack the eggs and carefully fold in the buttermilk, teaching me that a velvet cake’s texture is truly something special.

And oh, that lemon cream cheese frosting! Tangy yet sweet, it’s the perfect complement to the sunshine-bright cake layers. My nana always let me lick the spoon and bowl after she was done frosting. Those are some of my fondest memories.

Baking this lemon velvet cake is like being wrapped in a warm hug from my nana. It fills the house with that unmistakable lemon aroma that feels like pure nostalgia. And that first bite? Absolute lemon bliss! The cake is incredibly moist and feather-light, almost like biting into a lemon-scented cloud.

These days, I make this treasured lemon cake for my own family, carrying on my nana’s sweet legacy. My kids love helping zest the lemons and can’t get enough of that luscious frosting. I hope they’ll keep the tradition alive and pass it down for generations to come.

Because to me, this lemon velvet cake is more than just a dessert – it’s a beautiful reminder of loved ones, happy memories, and the simple pleasures of sunny days. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the warmth and cheer of spring!

Lemon Velvet Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

This sunny lemon velvet cake is pure citrus bliss! The tender cake layers and luscious lemon cream cheese frosting make for the ultimate taste of springtime.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12


For the Cake:

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:


  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In another bowl, beat the sugar, oil, shortening, eggs, vanilla, lemon extract and zest until light and fluffy.
  • Alternate mixing the dry ingredients and buttermilk into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  • Mix the vinegar and hot lemon water together, then stir into the batter along with food coloring if using.
  • Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake 25-30 mins until centers are just set.
  • Let cakes cool in pans 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Mix in extracts, zest and powdered sugar until smooth.
  • Frost cooled cake layers with lemon cream cheese frosting. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.


  • For ultimate lemon flavor, use fresh lemon juice and zest.
  • Don’t overmix batter once the wet and dry ingredients are combined.
  • Check cakes a few minutes early and remove when centers are just set but still slightly jiggly.
  • Let cakes cool completely before frosting.
  • Frosting can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.

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